GMO: The Truth about the Science

Earlier this month, major biotech and agriculture groups sent a letter to key members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee supporting the inclusion of $3 million in the fiscal year 2017 budget to “better inform the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production.” In plain English, these groups are asking for taxpayer dollars to fund propaganda efforts on behalf of the biotech industry. For those interested in real answers to questions about GMOs, we’ve recently updated and revamped our GMO Fact Check site. We’ve included the most up-to-date information on the safety of GMOs, the facts about GMOs and pesticide use, the epidemic of cross-pollination of GMOs with conventional (and/or organic) crops, the myth that GMOs increase crop yields, and much more. Our information is science-based and fully cited. Since industry has systematically attempted to corrupt so many government agencies, universities, and researchers working in this field, simply having accurate, scientific data is an accomplishment.

GMO Canola Escapes into Wild: New Mutant Plants Found

When consumers purchase organic produce, they expect to avoid vegetables and fruits that have been genetically modified or sprayed with dangerous pesticides. The unsettling reality, however, is that cross-contamination between GM plants and conventional or organic plants is not only possible—it is already happening. Millions of acres of GM rapeseed, which is used to make canola oil, the most popular cooking oil in North America, are being grown—in Canada and Australia in particular, but also in the US. This GM rapeseed has spread across the world, growing wild in ports, railway beds, along highways, and other areas where it has “escaped” during transport. Not only is it growing wild—it has contaminated another Brassica, the parent of cruciferous vegetables known as Brassica rapa. Organic broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Napa cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and more are now under threat.

Healthy Traditions Announces Glyphosate-Tested Traditionally Produced Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Healthy Traditions announced today the launch of their new product, raw Apple Cider Vinegar with "mother." Starting the last part of 2014, Healthy Traditions, a division of Tropical Traditions, Inc., has started testing all of its products for the presence of the herbicide glyphosate, since many of their USDA certified organic products were tested to be contaminated with glyphosate. Finding a supplier of Apple Cider Vinegar that could be tested and traced all the way back to the producer proved difficult, as many apple cider vinegars are produced with apples from many different orchards, meaning that a single batch test may not represent all bottles used in each batch. So they began to search for a single source orchard to produce their own apple cider vinegar. The Healthy Traditions Apple Cider Vinegar is made by hand on a small family farm in Wisconsin. This high quality and great tasting vinegar starts by hand picking a mixture of apples that are suited perfectly for cider, imparting a depth of flavors to the vinegar that are unique. The apples are grown in Wisconsin on a certified organic orchard that practices sustainable agriculture by using livestock to maintain the orchard floor. By rotating different animals in the orchard the caretakers are able to reduce weeds and insects that would hinder the apple production.

GMO-Tested and Glyphosate-Tested Corn Products Unique in the U.S.?

Healthy Traditions announced earlier this year that they had added Mexican heirloom corn products to their line of GMO-tested and Glyphosate-tested products. They explained how truly GMO-free corn is almost non-existent in the U.S., as even corn that is USDA certified organic or verified to be GMO free is still contaminated with small amounts of GMO DNA, according to their own laboratory testing. The corn products, which include corn flour, corn meal, grits, and whole kernel corn, are on sale this week. They are thought to be unique to the U.S. corn market.

GMO Labeling Bill Becomes Law: Now What?

On Friday, July 29, 2016 President Obama signed into law the GMO Labeling bill recently passed by Congress. This law preempts Vermont’s first-of-its-kind GMO Labeling law, which had just gone into effect on July 1, and authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a mandatory disclosure program for “bioengineered” (aka GMO) foods. Now that the law has been enacted, all eyes are on USDA, which has the primary responsibility of implementing the law. USDA has one year to conduct the QR code feasibility study, and two years to develop the labeling standards and regulations. Both of these processes will also require public input before being finalized. USDA is likely to see thousands upon thousands of comments from stakeholders during these next phases of implementation. By law they are required to consider all comments received, suggesting that a long process is ahead. The agency is also likely to hold public meetings to allow stakeholders the opportunity to submit oral, as well as written, testimony. Given the highly contentious nature of this legislation and the GMO debate in general, we hope to see USDA proceed through this process in as transparent and inclusive a manner as possible. All of these issues point to a lengthy and involved few years before a final disclosure requirement is in place. And regardless, once the regulations have gone through the public rulemaking process, a legal challenge is highly likely, which could further delay implementation.

Monsanto’s New GMOs Spawn Illegal Use of Toxic Herbicides

Farmers in Arkansas and Missouri have filed more than 100 complaints with state agriculture agencies over a toxic weed killer that is drifting from adjacent farms and damaging their crops. The herbicide is not only stunting the growth of soybeans – it's also being used illegally. As National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal reported, farmers say the chemical, known as dicamba, is being illegally sprayed by neighboring farms growing genetically modified crops from seeds created and sold by Monsanto, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend.

Is Your Water Being Polluted by Big Pharma Chemicals?

Glyphosate herbicide disrupts the development of the uterus of female rats when they are exposed for 7 days after birth, a new study by Argentine researchers shows. The glyphosate herbicide caused cell proliferation and structural changes in the rats’ uterus. This was in spite of the fact that no signs of chronic or acute toxicity or differences in weight gain were seen in treated pups. Glyphosate herbicide also disrupted the expression of proteins involved in uterine development. The authors conclude that exposure to glyphosate herbicide may affect female fertility and/or promote the development of uterine cancer. They also state that their study is the first to show endocrine-disrupting effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide on the uterus of newborn and prepubertal rats, supporting the possibility that glyphosate-based herbicides might be endocrine disruptors.

Glyphosate Herbicide Disrupts Uterine Development

Glyphosate herbicide disrupts the development of the uterus of female rats when they are exposed for 7 days after birth, a new study by Argentine researchers shows. The glyphosate herbicide caused cell proliferation and structural changes in the rats’ uterus. This was in spite of the fact that no signs of chronic or acute toxicity or differences in weight gain were seen in treated pups. Glyphosate herbicide also disrupted the expression of proteins involved in uterine development. The authors conclude that exposure to glyphosate herbicide may affect female fertility and/or promote the development of uterine cancer. They also state that their study is the first to show endocrine-disrupting effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide on the uterus of newborn and prepubertal rats, supporting the possibility that glyphosate-based herbicides might be endocrine disruptors.

Healthy Traditions Adds Traditionally Produced and Glyphosate-Tested Rolled Oats to Product Line

Healthy Traditions' new Traditionally Produced Rolled Oats are grown on a small family farm in Wisconsin using sustainable methods without any pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. As an added assurance they are also tested for the presence of glyphosate and no trace was found. We have tested many batches of oats nationwide, including those certified organic, and it has been extremely difficult to find sources with no trace of the herbicide glyphosate present. These oats are processed by a small family-run mill, also in Wisconsin, and are never subjected to any heat processing and are truly raw. This mill is dedicated to milling only grains grown on nearby farms that are free from pesticides and herbicides.

Healthy Traditions Adds Traditionally Produced and Glyphosate-Tested Raw Almond Flour to Product Line

Tropical Traditions announced this week that they have added Raw Italian Almond Flour/Meal to their Healthy Traditions product line. Unlike almonds grown in the US, that are required to be pasteurized by law, these almonds, grown in Italy, are free from that regulation. These almonds are grown by sustainable methods with no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers used on the almond trees. It carries Healthy Traditions’ highest standards to earn the “Traditionally Produced” label. As an added security, they are tested for the presence of glyphosate for each batch.